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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

My legs move a lot in the back swing. Can you offer suggestions?
--Mal L. from Schenectady, NY

Hi Mal. Thanks for writing I'm looking forward to helping you with your game.

Excessive leg movement in the takeaway can be a major problem. The more you move your legs the less coil you create and you often sway or move off of the golf ball making getting back to square nearly impossible. Your balance is also highly compromised.

It's important to keep both of your feet firmly planted on the ground if at all possible. For some that are highly inflexible they may need to pick up their front heel, but if that's the case do it only in moderation. I like to tell my students that their front knee should only rotate in about 10 degrees and they should turn their hips a MAXIMUM of 45 degrees. This of course is case dependent as you do have many players out there with limited flexibility. The idea though is the less you move your legs and hips the bigger the difference between your hip and shoulder turn and the more coil you create.

Think of yourself as a rubber band. The tighter we can get you to wind up on the backswing, the faster you are going to unwind into the downswing. I don't want you to overdue it of course because you have to have a little hip rotation to get a full shoulder turn behind the ball.

To feel quite legs and maximum shoulder turn take a small chair and lay it on the ground. Straddle it with your legs so your legs are completely restricted and try swinging up to the top of your swing. See how much shoulder turn you get and work on getting a nice stretch. If you practice this every day with time you will start to feel a nice separation between your shoulders and hips and you will get the sense of hour to keep your legs quiet.

I hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions.


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